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Madras nonprofit center can help with marriage, teen, addiction and other issues.

SUSASN MATHENY/MADRAS PIONEER - Counselor Bill Mahnke at the Madras office, across from the post office.WaterCup Counseling Service opened a Madras office one year ago to offer affordable counseling to local residents.

The nonprofit, established in 2007 by director Bill Mahnke, now has WaterCup centers in Bend, Redmond and Madras, staffed by a total of 13 licensed practitioners.

Counseling help is offered in the areas of marriage, family, children and teen issues, grief, addictions, abuse, suicide intervention, disability, conflict resolution and more.

Services are on a sliding scale ranging from $30 to $125 per session, but no one is turned away because of lack of finances. Donations from local churches, businesses and individuals help support the nonprofit services.

It is a Christian-based counseling service, but is open to all clients. "The principals are available to anyone; they don't have to go to church," Mahnke said. Recently, he got a call from an atheist who asked how they would treat him if he became a client. "I'd treat you as a person of infinite worth," Mahnke told him.

Mahnke and two other counselors, Randy Krieger and Wendy Bachmeier, are regularly at the Madras office, across from the post office at 72 SE Sixth St., but the other practitioners can also come to Madras as needed.

After graduating from San Diego Christian College with a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Studies, Mahnke earned a Master in Community Counseling from the University of Nebraska, and Master of Social Justice.

He worked six years as a counselor in Central California, and as a primary psychiatric therapist in Nebraska before founding WaterCup Counseling. He lives in Redmond with his wife of 28 years, Kittie.

Randy Krieger is a professional clinical mental health counselor. He has a Master of Divinity degree from Western Seminary in Portland, and Master of Mental Health Counseling from George Fox University.

Krieger has 26 years of experience as a pastoral therapist in chemical dependency, and has worked with military personnel struggling with addictions and post-traumatic stress disorder. He and his wife of 30 years have three sons.

Wendy Bachmeier is an art therapy counselor, with a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Studies and Women's Ministries. She uses art to work with children, women, seniors and families to create beauty amidst brokenness. She also teaches art and volunteers at Saving Grace Domestic Violence Prevention Agency.

Another counselor available in Madras is Case Kirkland, who has a degree in experiential therapy and is pursuing a Master of Counseling Psychology. He offers therapeutic outdoor programs and has a passion for working with adolescents and teens. He and his wife live in Bend.

Mahnke said he founded WaterCup because, "I had a passion to help people get counseling before a crisis, get a strategy for marriage before it crashes, or have goals for raising children before the challenges come up. Also, to get rid of the stigma that you're a loser if you get counseling."

When he counsels people, he feels he is impacting three generations – the client, their children and grandchildren.

The Madras community has responded really well to the counseling office, and Mahnke said he would love to have the opportunity to make more people aware by speaking to service clubs and community organizations.

For businesses, WaterCup offers an employee benefit package, where the employer pays a monthly fee, and their employees receive free or minimal rate counseling services.

To someone who has never tried counseling, Mahnke's advice is, "To be able to reflect and plan, you will find a better result in life than just letting life happen."

Counseling is available by appointment by calling 541-848-0879. For more information, visit the website at watercup.org.

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